(Reuters) - CBS News and other networks said on Tuesday they had fired Charlie Rose, one of the most prominent American interviewers, the day after the Washington Post reported the television host had sexually harassed eight women.
PBS and Bloomberg, which broadcast the “Charlie Rose” show, also said they were terminating their relationships with Rose and canceling distribution of his programs.
Rose was a co-host on the morning show “CBS This Morning” and a correspondent for its long-running Sunday night news magazine “60 Minutes.”
“A short time ago we terminated Charlie Rose’s employment with CBS News, effective immediately,” CBS News President David Rhodes said in an internal message that was shared with media. “This followed the revelation yesterday of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program.
A spokesman for Rose said the TV host would not comment further, pointing to Rose’s Monday statement in which he apologized for his “inappropriate behavior.” Rose, 75, however, also questioned the accuracy of the allegations in the Washington Post.
“I deeply apologize for my inappropriate behavior,” Rose said Monday. “I am greatly embarrassed. I have behaved insensitively at times and I accept responsibility for that, though I do not believe that all of these allegations are accurate.
“I always felt that I was pursuing shared feelings, even though I now realize I was mistaken,” he added, saying he had “come to a profound new respect for women and their lives.”
Eight women accused Rose of making unwanted sexual advances toward them, the Washington Post reported on Monday, the latest in a wave of sexual harassment allegations against prominent men in the entertainment and media industries and American politics.
The women, who were employees or aspired to work for Rose at the “Charlie Rose” show from the late 1990s to as recently as 2011, told the newspaper he made unwanted sexual advances toward them, walked in the nude around them and groped their breasts, buttocks and genital areas.
Three new accusers, women who work at CBS News, came forward on Tuesday, the network reported.
Reuters could not independently verify the accounts of the women.
CBS’s Rhodes said Tuesday that he was “deeply disappointed and angry that people were victimized.”
After the report on Monday, PBS and Bloomberg suspended Rose’s signature interview show, distributed on both outlets, citing the allegations.
“In light of yesterday’s revelations, PBS has terminated its relationship with Charlie Rose and canceled distribution of his programs,” PBS said in a statement on Tuesday. “PBS expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe.”
Bloomberg said on Tuesday it also terminated its rebroadcast agreement for the TV show.
Rose’s co-hosts on “CBS This Morning”, Norah O’Donnell and Gayle King, on Tuesday voiced their dismay at the allegations.
“Let me be very clear: there is no excuse for this alleged behavior,” Norah O’Donnell said.
Gayle King said she was shaken by the report. “I really am still reeling,” she said. “What do you say when someone that you deeply care about has done something that is so horrible?” She added that Rose “doesn’t get a pass.”
The women said neither had spoken with Rose since the allegations were published.
Rose routinely landed the biggest names in international politics, entertainment and letters for his interview show “Charlie Rose.”
An acute listener, Rose employed an engaging yet serious style in contrast to the bitter partisan arguments, cross-talk and raised voices on cable television. True to the show’s sober tone, the set was simply a table and chairs with an all-black background.
His persona on “CBS This Morning” was a little more whimsical, given the lighter subject matter of morning news shows in the United States.
Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Writing by Ben Klayman; Editing by Clive McKeef